Saturday, August 27, 2005

This Hippie $#!T Is Getting Old

As if the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's unsigned editorials and lefty columnists weren't bad enough, the paper had to go out and recruit an aging hippie college professor to express an urge to counter those of us on the right wing and promote statism by calling us a bunch of liars. Here's how she starts:

"Don't trust anyone over 30," was the mantra of youth 40 years ago.

Those teenagers and twentysomethings now in their 50s and 60s still don't trust anyone, not in public life. No one does. We don't trust lawyers, politicians, journalists, clergy, police, business leaders or sales people.
Okay, professor, I have a question: Who the hell appointed you the spokesperson for people "now in their 50s and 60s"? Was mistrust of the aged the mantra of youth in general, as you imply, or just of some youth? (I cringe when someone purports to speak for an entire group of people.) A good deal of skepticism is intellectually healthy, but a blanket mistrust like this is insane.

Did she leave anyone out of her list of people "we don't trust"?

Most of us don't even trust the president.
How did I know she was going to say that? Everything comes back to him, doesn't it, because these leftist freaks are obsessed with him. In their minds, he is responsible for All The World's Evils, and the longer he remains in office, the deeper their hatred will grow. This used to be entertaining; now it's simply annoying.

Not oonly do we not trust; we don't even expect that we should be able to. It seems naive and horribly gauche if someone actually shows surprise at the newest betrayal of confidence. Our wounds have turned gangrenous.
Why didn't I think of this before? If the left doesn't trust us, and we continue to "betray their confidence", they will all die of gangrene infections. We win! Or was "gangrene" just a metaphor? Drat!

In the 1960s and '70s, it became evident that institutions weren't working in the ways that were promised. People could work hard and never "make it."

Housewives living the "American Dream" in the suburbs found themselves waking up in the nightmare of "Valley of the Dolls." Kids were going to school but by the 1980s achievement levels had slipped to mediocre in comparisons with other nations. Cars were sold by an iconic corporation whose executives knew a certain model would explode in rear-end collisions. Air pollution choked us.

The first sentence in this excerpt is an example of why writing teachers abhor use of the passive voice. Who promised whom? The professor never makes this clear. Did George W. Bush make these promises when he was spreading gangrene among *ahem* members of his own generation, who all think he's a liar? (Does this mean that he doesn't trust himself?) A few more points about this excerpt:
  • Hard work is not a guarantee of success. It only increases your chances of "making it".
  • The "American Dream" is an ideal. It is not a guaranteed outcome, it is (in case it wasn't clear already) a dream.
  • Following a mention of the 1980s with phrases like "levels had slipped to mediocre" and "iconic corporation" allows the commie commenter to attack Reagan without aggravating the gangrene by outright mentioning his name.
  • We're all gonna die, and it's all Reagan's and Bush's faults.
After a lengthy passage in which Corporate America emerges as the Great Satan of the modern age, Professor Sociologist invokes his name once more:

Layoffs and low wages are two ways to increase profits. They are also the most common causes of family dissolution. They result in mental illness, reduced school achievement and poor physical health. The primary victims are children. As the Bush administration looks for ways to save families, they should look first to a guaranteed living wage and full employment.
The only way for the Bush administration to guarantee a living wage and full employment is to give everyone a government job and pay them the exact amount to cover their monthly expenses. Can the government do that? Lordy, I sure hope not. Should the government do that? If you say "yes", then you are a communist. Any Libertarian reading this article will get the metaphorical gangrene at this point. Has this sociology professor ever spoken to an economics professor? Unlikely. As for the results of corporate greed listed in the third sentence, I would say that the article is proof of all three.

It doesn't have to be like this. The most prominent example in this regard is Jim Sinegal of Costco. He has upended the traditional institutional model.
Everything in this article is loaded with political significance, especially mention of Costco's Sinegal. Look at the next paragraph.

He maintains a rigid adherence to values without regard to costs. He pays every worker the most that he can afford to pay, in salary and benefits. Every price is as low as he can make it; a rigid markup limit is maintained. He pays himself a modest salary. He figures, if you do good things, "good things will happen." Even when profits were down, he didn't cut employee salary or benefits. Coincidentally, in 2004, with 28 percent fewer stores, Costco outsold Wal-Mart by 21 percent. While Wal-Mart's earnings were pretty flat, Costco's were up 34 percent.
Why do so many left-wing commentators compare Costco to Wal-Mart? Because Costco supports Democrats, and Wal-Mart supports Republicans. The left has been urging consumers to boycott Wal-Mart since last year's Presidential campaign. Fine. I will never shop at Costco. It works both ways.

With Sinegal's motto, "just do good things," lying, cheating and hiding find little quarter in a corporate or political ethos. When the means are ends in themselves, values are pushed into the foreground.
Well, since we have already established her credentials as an advocate of totalitarianism, perhaps the professor ought to start a campaign to execute the government like the Romanovs and install Jim Sinegal as Dictator.

Periodically, every nation needs to remind itself what its values are. Like Watergate, the slow unraveling of lies may undermine the Bush administration.
Something is missing here. Does she ever actually come out and say what the administration's lies are? No, because if you have to ask what the "lies" are, that's proof that you just don't get it, and no amount of explaining is going to convince you. The article is all about style, not substance.

From "I cannot tell a lie," Washington and "honest Abe," truth has been paramount in our national identity. We need to remind ourselves what every schoolchild knows: Values count. Lying is not OK.
Communism has never been paramount in our national identity, either, at least not until FDR took over. Speaking of Democrat leaders...why didn't the left have a problem with lying when Bill Clinton was in office?

1 comment:

Honnistaibe said...

Of course La professora doesn't understand the Cosco business model which is to buy up stock of retailers that have gone out of business at pennies on the dollar and then resell it.. That's where their margins come from..stuff somebody else went broke trying to make money selling. So in a sense part of Cosco is a scavenger business exploiting the misfortunes of others.
And then there's that other bastion of Democratic finance..The University of Phoenix. I'll be getting an MBA from them soon..NOT!